Illinois school districts deploy vehicle-to-grid - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  March 25, 2021

Illinois school districts deploy vehicle-to-grid school buses

Two school districts in Illinois will soon be piloting vehicle-to-grid enabled school buses thanks to a new partnership.

The Pekin Public School District and Hollis Consolidated School district in Peoria, Ill., will be receiving the V2G buses from Cummins Inc., the electric powertrain provider announced March 24. According to Cummins, this is one of the first times V2G technology has moved beyond the pilot phase into full commercial operation in the school bus market.

“Cummins is excited to leap into the next era of connectivity and distributed energy resource management,” Amy Davis, vice president and president of New Power at Cummins, said in a statement. “In a creative endeavor, our teams have helped innovate a proprietary method to initiate bi-directional energy transfer at a time when a standard has yet to be set. Ultimately, we’re helping school districts leverage their investment by making our technology smarter and more efficient.”

The V2G technology used in the buses allows energy in the batteries of the electric buses to be exported into the grid or used as a power source. The team expects the technology to be used to reduce building energy consumption costs at peak times or provide back-up during outages.

All of Cummin’s Blue Bird electric school buses have had V2G capability since July 2020, and since then they have worked with Nuuve to develop the necessary software to be paired with compatible charges and install it on the buses. In mid-2021 all Blue Bird buses will be equipped with the V2G hardware and software, while those that already have the hardware will receive the accompanying software by the end of 2021.

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